Mearns Probus Report

Jackie shows her medals off
Jackie shows her medals off

The first meeting was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk, with President Eric Bell chairing the meeting.

Speaker, Jackie Lockhart, an Olympic curler, was introduced to inform members of her lifetime passion for the sport.

From an early age as a skater, she moved on into curling in her teens and it is a sport she has excelled in - winning many medals on the way including gold.

She has played in the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games and in various countries where the Winter Sports are held.

Jackie explained to club members how each team, led by the skip (or captain) has four players each throwing two stones. Their run can be varied by the action of team members sweeping the ice surface in front of the stone as required. The ultimate aim is to get their stone nearest to the centre of concentric circles, painted under the ice.

Having successfully competed on the ice, Jackie has now moved on to commentating, this year with the BBC at Sochi in Russia. Supported by Steve Cram and Clare Balding – both experts in their own right – Jackie covered 30 or so of the games to relay results as the games were played to many countries throughout the world. Although rather testing to begin with, she was pleased and satisfied with her efforts on completion of the Games.

Family life and her permanent job have had to take second place while training extensively in places such as Cyprus along with other athletes and their disciplines. Missing special birthdays was also another sacrifice to be made. However, she is now an Olympic athlete, having competed in 1992, 1998, 2006 and 2010. Her achievements in the sport led to her becoming the first Scottish Gold medallist in curling.

Dope testing of all athletes, expectations at local and national levels, dealing with pressures from the media, film crews and fans were all matters discussed in her presentation.

Slides were shown with Jackie and Clare Balding, Jonathon Edwards, Steve Cram and Dame Kelly Holmes, all new colleagues and friends. Jackie finished by reminding her audience that we should never pass by new opportunities, don’t listen to people who don’t matter and never stop being a fun-loving character.